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Final practice - Button pips Vettel at Interlagos 24 Nov 2012

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 24 November 2012 Sebastian Vettel runs for much of third practice second quickest on the harder tyres. The defending world champion took pole last year in Brazil Kimi Raikkonen's practice session goes up in smoke in Sao Paulo as his Lotus suffers another engine problem Michael Schumacher has to keep his cool as he avoids Bruno Senna's Williams, which finds itself sideways on the circuit

Jenson Button took over the pacesetting from McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton in the final practice session here at Interlagos on Saturday, which might be the last dry running on the track as rain is forecast this afternoon.

Button set the pace all the way through, cutting down to 1m 13.188s on the medium Pirelli tyres. A late run from Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel put the defending champion second in 1m 13.245s, as team mate Mark Webber narrowly headed Hamilton with 1m 13.385s to 1m 13.389s.

Behind them, Romain Grosjean was fifth for Lotus with 1m 13.420s, which was some consolation as team mate Kimi Raikkonen did not record a timed lap after his Renault engine broke early in the session.

The Force Indias were next up, with Paul di Resta continuing to head team mate Nico Hulkenberg, with 1m 13.486s to 1m 13.602s. Fernando Alonso was only seventh for Ferrari on 1m 13.691s, having been led for most of the session by team mate Felipe Massa. The Brazilian lapped in 1m 13.712s and was separated from Alonso by Pastor Maldonado who posted 1m 13.700s in his Williams.

Bruno Senna was 11th in the other FW34 with 1m 13.948s, then came Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes on 1m 14.126s, the Saubers of Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi on 1m 14.190s and 1m 14.192s, Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes on 1m 14.347s, and the Toro Rossos of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne on 1m 14.687s and 1m 14.972s.

Schumacher was lucky to escape without incident after Senna spun in front of him exiting the Juncao corner toward the end of the lap.

Vitaly Petrov confirmed Caterham’s improvement here with 1m 15.159s for 18th ahead of team mate Heikki Kovalainen on 1m 15.707s, and the Finn had Timo Glock and Charles Pic for company in the Marussias on 1m 15.763s and 1m 16.059s.

Pedro de la Rosa again had the faster HRT, lapping in 1m 16.198s to Narain Karthikeyan’s 1m 16.793s. Raikkonen was 24th.

The scene is thus set for qualifying when there will be great pressure on everyone to get in banker laps as the rain coming up from the south is expected shortly.

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